A Letter from your incumbent

Last month I was delighted to share the good news with you that Revd Sandra Williams had been appointed by the Bishop of Sherborne as an Associate Priest in the Benefice of West Purbeck. Rev Sandra will be licensed in Bere Regis Church on 2nd October at 7.30pm. Please see the invitation elsewhere in this magazine and save the date; we hope you’ll be able to come to the Service to welcome Sandra and Graham and stay for refreshments in the Scout Hut afterwards. 

 
It was very good for the Ministry Team to spend time with Sandra and Graham recently when they came to look over the vicarage. Everyone is very much looking forward to Sandra joining the team.  Sandra is also really looking forward to coming and has written a letter for this month’s magazine to introduce herself to everyone - it is on the 'News and Events' page.
 
Next month the Churchwardens and I will include an article about Sandra’s ministry amongst us after her licensing on 2nd October and, remembering that she has been appointed to work 0.5 (Sunday +3 days), we’ll give details of her working days and the arrangements for the days when she will not be on duty as well as other organisational & administrative arrangements across the Benefice and Ministry Team. Please look out for this next month.
 
In the meantime, please pray for the Revd Sandra and Graham as they prepare to move to Bere Regis and please also continue to pray for the Benefice as we move forward together.
 
With every blessing
Rev Carol
Rector   
Rev Carol

 

Pastoral Reorganisation in Purbeck

Under the guidance and direction of Bishop Karen and Archdeacon Antony, it has been formally proposed to bring the four Churches in our neighbouring Benefice (comprising churches in East and West Lulworth, Winfrith Newburgh and Chaldon Herring) within an enlarged West Purbeck Benefice. 

Currently the West Purbeck Benefice comprises three churches: 
Wool (including the parish areas of East Stoke, East Burton and Coombe Keynes); 
Bere Regis;
Affpuddle.
The enlarged benefice would therefore include seven churches:
Holy Rood, Wool;
St John the Baptist, Bere Regis;
St Laurence, Affpuddle
Holy Trinity, West Lulworth
St Andrew, East Lulworth
St Christopher, Winfrith Newburgh
St Nicholas, Chaldon Herring
 
We know that many Rural Parishes and Benefices have, these days, needed to join into larger groups for various reasons, not least economic. There are some clear advantages for this. For example, no vicar can work seven days a week and clergy are enabled to give of their best when they have the support not only of their church officers and varying congregations, but also of one another as a clergy group that works closely together.
The proposal has met with Revd Robert Marsden’s endorsement (Revd. Robert is the Priest in Charge of the Lulworths, Winfrith and Chaldon benefice).and he has agreed in principle to stay on and be fully involved in the planning and introduction of this change, and be part of a proposed enlarged team of Benefice Clergy.
The three Parochial Church Councils of West Purbeck have met with Archdeacon Anthony, as has the PCC of the Lulworths, Winfrith and Chaldon Benefice, and all have voted in favour of starting the period of consultation – desiring that the formal consultation should commence as soon as possible. The formal consultation period will enable the various parishes and all interested parties to consider the detail of the various aspects of this change and gives an opportunity to make comments, ask questions, and raise objections as part of the process. (This initial stage of the legal formalities may to take around six months due to statutory notice periods.)
In the proposed arrangement:
Rev Carol Langford, the present incumbent of the West Purbeck Benefice, will continue as incumbent (full-time) of the enlarged Benefice.
In October the benefice will be joined by Revd Sandra Williams who has been appointed as Associate Priest resident in Bere Regis. Revd Sandra will be working on three days plus Sundays, and replaces Revd Charles Masheder who retired in January 2019 as vicar of Bere Regis and Affpuddle.
There will continue to be a priest resident in West Lulworth but it will be on a House for Duty (HfD) basis (working on two days a week plus Sunday services, as opposed to the post being one of three days plus Sundays at present). Rev Robert (if he agrees following the conclusion of the consultation process) will, after due notice, be the first HfD priest.
In addition, we are fortunate to have Revd Jenny Alidina who is a self-supporting priest and who is licensed to our present Benefice.
Revd Judy Hill, who is officially retired from parish ministry but still licensed to us, continues to work in our Benefice as and when she is able. 
 
We all are starting discussions and preparations for the reshaping process. For example, from October, Revd Carol Langford, as Benefice Incumbent, will begin combining rotas for Sunday Services. These will integrate all the churches in the proposed enlarged Benefice, calling upon the available clergy, as if we were one united Benefice already. The days off for the emerging clergy team will be structured as far as practical to ensure that a clergy member is available for emergencies within the enlarged Benefice, even if the locally resident priest is off duty.
 
It is likely that these sort of changes will happen in stages, while everyone involved adjusts to new timetables, roles and responsibilities.
 
Since the processes for the main changes involved have some statutory periods built into them, it may be a total of perhaps 12 months from now (August/September 2020) before we see the enlarged Benefice emerge as a legal entity with all the proposed changes in place—always assuming it all goes ahead following consultation.
 
Everyone concerned will be wise to hold in our prayers all those involved in the implementation of these changes.